Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Last of Our Kennedy Past

For my generation, the sadness over Ted Kennedy's diagnosis today goes deeper than the sudden awareness of one man's mortality. He is our last link to a time of youth and hope.

The youngest of Joe and Rose's nine children, he grew up in the shadow of not only Jack and Bobby, but the oldest brother Joe, who died in World War II. When JFK was elected president, Teddy had to wait two years before he turned thirty and could run for and win his brother's vacated Senate seat.

Over the next 44 years, he won eight more elections, survived both the accident at Chappaquiddick and the ensuing scandal, made a half-hearted attempt to run for the White House in 1980 and then worked hard and tirelessly to become a figure worthy of the Kennedy legend.

The shock and grief on the faces of his Congressional colleagues today testify to his accomplishments both as a keeper of the Kennedy flame and a figure of accomplishment in his own right.

As we prepare to turn a new page in our political history, Ted Kennedy is a living reminder of some of the best that preceded it. Millions will be praying for him.

1 comment:

Larry Jones said...

May we be fortunate enough -- when the time comes -- to elect another public servant like him.